The Gift of Prayer
Over the years I have observed that many people are reluctant to pray. This is true especially regarding praying in front others as they feel unsure and think they “do not know how!”
We must believe God is not concerned about how we pray, but just that we do pray.
To relieve any anxiety about what constitutes our private and/or public prayers, here are some types of prayer that make the practice more accessible for all:
- Daily Prayers — If you are new to extemporaneous prayer, try following the ACTS pattern:
Adoration offer praise and glory to God
Confession for things we have done or things we have left undone
Thanksgiving for all our blessings
Supplication for others and our own needs
- Centering Prayer – Sit comfortably and quietly, think of a “centering word” to say over and over to bring you back into prayer if your mind wanders off…which it will. Ask God your question or topic for discernment, then sit and listen for God’s answer. Allow God’s response to have berth;it could be yes, no or wait. A centering prayer session could take as little as 30 minutes but could be much longer.
- Intercessory prayers – Make a list of your favorite prayers (e.g. The General Thanksgiving, The Prayer of St.Francis) and a compile a list of people you would like to pray for. Lift yourself up to God through praying your favorites and then intercede for the needs of others.
- Short prayers – The Jesus Prayer,“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner” repeated over and over.
- Anglican Prayer Beads – Use a tangible aid for meditation and contemplation following this rubric.
Frederick B. Meyer, an English Baptist pastor, evangelist and the author of the great little book The Secret of Guidance said, “The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but un-offered prayer.” Prayer is often talked about but not often practiced. Yet for the believer, it remains one of the greatest gifts our Lord has given us outside of salvation!
This article was written by Chris Craig-Jones, Assistant for Pastoral Care.